Pet-Related Franchises; More Bark Than Bite?

Pet-Related Franchises; More Bark Than Bite?As I was finishing with my dog Winston’s belly rub, a thought came into my mind; more and more pet-related franchises have been springing up lately, and I am not sure why.

Are there more pets? Do pet owners have more disposable income to spend on their pets? What gives?

According to the American Pet Products Association;

  • 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.4 millions homes
  • $45.4 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.
  • $3.4 billion of that figure will be spent on grooming & boarding

The pet industry is obviously huge. This category is getting so popular that some major brands that have typically sold their products to humans are starting to get involved in it.

Paul Mitchell, Omaha Steaks, Origins, Harley Davidson and Old Navy are now offering lines of pet products ranging from dog shampoo, pet attire, and name-brand toys to high-end gourmet treats and food.

The franchise industry has certainly jumped into this market with vigor, and the short list of young franchise concepts below demonstrates this fact;

  • Preppy Pet Suites – Pet daycare and boarding
  • All American Pet Resorts – Hotel, restaurant, and workout facility for pets
  • Pet Depot – Retail pet franchise
  • Hey Buddy! – Pet supply and vending
  • Hydro-Groom – Mobile pet wash
  • Interquest Detection Canines – Contraband and drug detection
  • Lil’ Pals Pet Photography – Mobile photography
  • The Pet Food Courier – Pet food delivery services
  • Hounds Mounds – Pooper scooper services

If you are a pet owner, would you use these services? If these services were able to save you time, or add value in some other way, could you find the money in your budget to use them?

I probably spoil our dog as much as any other pet owner, so I feel that I am qualified to render my opinions on the nine franchise types listed above.

  • When we go on vacation, we use a boarding kennel. Would we use a cute, new franchised one? Sure.
  • A “resort” is probably quite different from a traditional boarding kennel. If I was having an exceptionally good year, income-wise, maybe I would have Winston pampered at a cutting edge pet resort like All American Pet Resorts.
  • I certainly frequent retail pet stores. I average two trips a month, and I purchase pet food. collars, treats, and deodorizing sprays and shampoos. I would definitely check out a new store, if it opened in my neighborhood.
  • If I stumbled upon a vending machine that looked totally different than other vending machines in my travels, and I noticed that it offered pet supplies and treats, I would probably make a purchase, out of curiosity.  Now, if the machine was located in an area that I would happen to have my dog at, I would definitely make a purchase. It’s all about convenience.
  • If it was affordable, and the groomer knew how to give a breed specific cut, it would certainly be a time saver to have someone come to my home.
  • I guess if I felt my neighbor was selling dope, I would hire the local franchisee to investigate. Kidding. I would imagine that Interquest Detection Canines franchises are focused on the commercial markets. A needed service.
  • Would I hire a mobile professional pet photographer for a special occasion like a dog weeding? Yes. Once again, I would think that the business model is targeted towards pet-related events like field trials, and dog shows.
  • Would it be nice to avoid lugging around a 40lb bag of dog food? Yes. Do I need the exercise? Yes. I would have to be convinced that the quality and price were equal.
  • Mounds. The most unpleasant task of pet ownership is the waste disposal part. I probably would not pay for a poop removal service, but there are now 7-8  different franchises that are doing this. I’ll be keeping my eye on this business model.

If you are a pet owner, you know the costs involved in keeping your pet happy and in tip-top shape.  Franchises can delivery the quality and consistency you crave.

If you are considering becoming your own boss, maybe a pet-related franchise of your own is worth looking into. There is certainly a market. Is the market big enough for new pet-related franchise concepts?

One more thing. Meet Winston.

* * * * *

Joel Libava on 2008 franchise trends About the Author: Joel Libava is President and Life Changer of Franchise Selection Specialists. He blogs at The Franchise King Blog.


Joel Libava Joel Libava is the Franchise Expert for Small Business Trends. Joel, The Franchise King®, equips today’s prospective franchise owners with time-tested, proven techniques designed to increase odds of success. He does this through one-on-one coaching, and gobs of useful content that can be found on places like Small Business Trends, SBA.Gov, and his award-winning franchise blog, The Franchise King Blog . He’s been featured in Entrepreneur® magazine, and is frequently called upon by national media outlets and publications for his no-spin insights into the world of franchising.

19 Reactions
  1. I enjoyed reading this article Joel. Business growth in this industry is great for our business so more power to them! We are always looking for new clients with which to partner.

  2. Some of these ideas seem a little out there, but I can see myself trying each of them in the right circumstance. We got involved with home delivery of dog food a year ago. We’re never going back to buying from a store.

  3. Hey Joel,
    I’m amazed to hear of some of these trends and innovative niche markets within the pet industry. Wow. When I’ve had dogs, I thought I took good care of them, but I guess not!

    But I love the biz energy and passion these folks bring to the table and the ideas you’ve shared.

  4. Joel,

    Fascinating list. I am amazed how much money is spent on pets in America. We treat our cat Morris very well with good quality food and care, but as a cat he is taking care of his own business! 😉 I wrote about a funny experiment in my post post, Photos by Morris the Cat. My brother has bought a camera and GPS tracker for Morris. Mr. Lee CatCam has become an online hit. Look at pictures taken by cats and explore their walking routes. 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for your comments!

    What a huge industry..


    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava

  6. Pets are a huge money maker. Sometimes I think I treat my pets better than I treat myself!

    The Hey Buddy! pet vending idea is genius. I could see these in parks and walking trails all over. Stock them full of treats, cold water, poopy bags, etc. I know I would be a frequent buyer. I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten to our local trail and realized I forgot paper towels and/or poop bags. It’s a 20 minute drive both ways so it’s not exactly convenient to run back home for them.

  7. Winston’s a cutie, Joel. Isn’t it amazing how much we truly love our pets? I think it’s because they love us back so much – unconditionally

    Some of these biz ideas are great and quite useful, too. I know that myself, personally, I’d really like the pooper-scooper service. Boy, that’d make things really nice and hassle free.

  8. Great article Joel. With pet owners and their love for their pets, it’s not a huge surprise of the amount of $$$ involved in the industry. Also, love the list of fun services offered. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Cool list of franchise concepts Joel. Do you own one of these?

  10. RedHotFranchises

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  11. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  12. A wonderfully-balanced article, Joel. Unfortunately our own franchise launch didn’t take place until after your article went to press — we would have welcomed your thoughts and impressions.

    So, to add to the list above, people interested in a pet franchise should also explore the Zoom Room – we’re the only brick-and-mortar dog training franchise in the US, and the world’s first dog agility franchise. Meticulously researched, developed and perfected by the nation’s leading pet business consultant, we feel pretty confident that our diverse and complementary revenue streams as well as our overall business model would earn Joel’s stamp of approval. (Not to mention being a lot of fun.) What say you, Joel?

    For more information, please visit us at

  13. Well, this is my first stop by to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a brand new initiative in a local community in the exact same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous task!

  14. Don’t forget that in addition to “pet parents” looking for more and more pet products and services, the “pet service” providers (franchisees in this case) truly love what they do. And to have a job that you love seems pretty rare these days. I think the thought that you can make “real” money working with pets is attractive to many people.

    I left a very “successful” job (if you equate success with good money) to simply have more fun in my job and combine a few passions of mine. Thus, the Dogs Love Running! pet care service was born. And since people were asking us how we did it, we decided to be franchisors of the concept ourselves. You never know how things can work out! (

  15. I too like the Vending machine idea – wouldn’t it be really easy for pet owners to buy a ball or disposable (read chewable) frisbee etc with the loose change in their pocket. Worth a look I reckon.

  16. I don’t know if more people have pets, or if more people are doing more things with their pets. I’ve seen a lot more people traveling with their pets in the last 10 years than in previous. We get many more requests of “Can we take our dog with us in the rental car”…Just some food for thought.

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